Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Colors and Gods


While doing my Reiki III homework this morning and reading about the sixth chakra and colors it got me thinking about what colors mean in magic, healing and with the Hellenic Gods. I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on colors and what they mean with different Deities--I'm not going to be referring to ancient sources...just my own personal thoughts:

Red: Red, as all colors do, represents different things depending on what shade it appears in. It's the color of the first chakra, which means it is a color of grounding and re-centering. In this instance it symbolizes Hestia to me as it is through Her that we achieve a sense of stability and solidity in our homes, which then (hopefully) permeates into the other aspects of our lives. Red is also the color of blood, which physically and symbolically is our life force and therefore represents Gaia as the Goddess of creation and life. It also represents the blood shed on the battlefield and can be then used to represent or be an offering to Ares or Athena. Around the time of the Feast of Fear, red symbolizes Pan as the God of Panic and fear. To me, working with Pan in this instance encourages us to look deep into ourselves to confront our deepest animal instincts which make up the foundation of our core. Red is also the color of lust which again can be associated with Pan as well as Aphrodite. Pink, a variation of red and has always been the color of friendship and love in the romantic sense. It is in this case the color of Aphrodite in Her aspect of the Goddess of love.

Orange: Orange is the color of the second chakra which rules sexuality, creativity, desires, and encouragement. When I use these candles in magic, I also am calling for strength and power. Orange as the color of creativity speaks of Apollon as the God of the Arts. Because of its brightness it also speaks to me as a color of Helios. It is the color often associated with fire and therefore also conjures up images of Hestia and Hephaestos. In this instance, it represents the warmth of the fire which gives us strength and power.

Yellow: This color I have always connected with Apollon and Artemis. I read somewhere (not exactly sure which book) that it was associated with Artemis. To me this makes sense in Her aspect which is represented by the light of the moon or Apollon when He is represented as the sunlight. It is the color of the third chakra which is the chakra of manifestation which connects it therefore to Hermes, Hekate and any other deities involved in magical workings. Hermes is also associated with money and I have often used yellow as a substitute for gold in money workings/prayers. It is the color that I see in the light from a flashlight, which shines through the darkness showing pathways and helps us to become oriented. I am also reminded of the saying "all things come from Zeus" which places Him as the epitome of manifestation. He is also known as a God of Light.

Green: Green is the color of the fourth chakra which rules over relationships, love, vitality, balance, and unity. It refers to our connections with those around us. Therefore Deities which to me are connected with this color are Pan, Aphrodite, Asklepios, Apollon, Gaia, Themis, and Zeus. For Pan, I see light green as the color of His fields and dark green as the color of His forests. It is through the Earth that we find Pan's healing aspect as one of His blessings can be vitality. Aphrodite is as stated earlier the Goddess of love, and the Goddess who sprung from the sea. I have always pictured Her in visions decked with seaweed. She is also the Goddess of inner beauty and self love. As green is the color of relationships, I can also see it being connected with marriage and therefore can represent Hera. Murry Hope in "Practical Greek Magic" associates emerald green with Her. It is also the color of paper money, and can also bring images of Hermes as the God of commerce and luck. Green is also a color of healing and can be then associated with Apollon and Asklepios. It is also the color of the Oak tree and vitality connecting it with Zeus.

Blue: As the color of the ocean, I associate blue with Poseidon and Aphrodite (being born from the sea). I also see it as a color relating to Apollon as the God of Dolphins. It is also the color of the fifth chakra which rules communication, sound, telepathy and creativity. I see this particularly as dark blue as it reminds me of the void over which we all communicate either verbally, bodily or telepathically. It is here also where it can be connected to any Deity associated with divination such as Apollon, Zeus, Pan, and Hekate. As it rules sound, it can also be connected with Apollon, Dionysos, Athena, and the Muses as the Gods of Art and Creativity. Light blue is also the color of the sky, which I sometimes use to represent Zeus or all of the Olympian Gods (as They are said to dwell above the clouds). It is also one of the main colors of the Greek flag which to me draws images of Athens--Athena and Poseidon.

Indigo: This color, somewhere between purple and blue, is the color of the sixth chakra which is located just above the eyes. It is the color of sight, perception and intuition which to me automatically connects it to Apollon, Hekate, Hermes, and Artemis. It represents the world in between things which is connected to Zeus. As this world is also known as the unseen world, it reminds me of Demeter and Persephone as the Goddesses of the mysteries. I think that I would also burn candles of this color while in a period of mourning, as it represents the space between life and death which we are very close to when someone close to us passes on into the next world--whatever/wherever that may be.

Violet: Violet as I see it is the color of royalty which represents both Hera and Zeus. It is also the color of priesthood in Greek religion (priests often wear purple sashes) and therefore can represent spirituality and higher levels of existence/consciousness. It is the color of wine, which connects it to Dionysos (who is ironically the God of Enlightenment through the destroying of boundaries). Since priesthood was not connected with one specific God or Goddess, it makes sense that it would also represent all the Gods and Goddesses of the Greek Pantheon and even those beyond it. It is the color of the seventh chakra, which rules over consciousness, understanding, and information which connects it to Apollon and Athena (the Goddess of Wisdom).

The last two colors I think I'll write about are white and black. To me, these colors are directly related to one another. One is the presence of all colors (white) and the other the absence of all color (black). White has always symbolized purity to me as it repels negative energy. It is also in some cultures the color which represents death and it is the color of the cloth I have on my ancestor shrine for that reason. As a color of purity I see it as being connected with Apollon, Zeus, Athena, Artemis, and Hestia. I have also pictured Hera as being dressed in white as the Goddess of Marriage and also the clarity and sanctity of the marriage vows. Persephone I have seen connected with both white and black as She exists in both worlds. Black represents the sheep's skin of Zeus (Dion Kodion) which absorbs negative energy and miasma (impurity). The ancient Greeks associated it with death (see Robert Garland's "The Greek Way of Death") and I often use candles of this color upon my ancestor shrine and a color I connect with Haides. Hekate to me is both white and black as She moves between both worlds and is both the giver and remover of obstacles.

There are obviously many more colors and associations which the colors have with the Gods. To me, color correspondences and associations are rather subjective, as each person may have a different take on what they mean. I would encourage any Greek Polytheist or other Pagan (or really anyone at all for that matter) to do some research and meditations on their own to come up with their own associations. It's actually gotten me to think about the different aspects of the Gods and how they relate to each other which is a great way to get to know Them a bit better and to me, that makes it worth exploring.


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